PUBG was among 118 mobile phone apps that India banned on September 2.

Tagore no threat to China, why should PUBG be a risk to India, asks Beijing
India banned 118 mostly mobile apps including Tencent Holdings Ltd’s popular video game PUBG, citing data security .

Beijing on Thursday cited Nobelist Rabindranath Tagore and yoga’s popularity in China to criticise India banning 118 Chinese apps and subtly warned New Delhi to not join the US’s ‘clean network’ programme, Washington’s initiative for an online without security threats.

The Chinese foreign ministry said unlike the rationale behind India’s decision to ban the 118 apps, the recognition of Tagore’s poems or the wide approval of yoga among Chinese citizens did not mean that China looks at these as “infiltration” or “threat”.

India on Wednesday banned 118, mostly Chinese mobile apps, including Tencent Holdings Ltd’s popular video game PUBG, citing data security concerns.

These “apps collect and share data during a surreptitious manner and compromise personal data and knowledge of users which will have a severe threat to the safety of the state,” India’s ministry of electronics and information technology said in a statement.

The latest round of ban – India first banned 59 Chinese apps on Saints Peter and Paul – comes within the backdrop of fresh escalation within the ongoing border friction between the two Himalayan neighbours in eastern Ladakh.

While the foreign ministry invoked Tagore and his poetry, China’s commerce ministry was less poetic. It said it strongly opposed India banning Chinese apps.

“Indian actions violate the legal interests of Chinese investors and services providers and China asks India to correct its mistakes,” commerce ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said at an appointment .

Gao said India has abused national security by imposing “discriminate restrictions” on Chinese companies,

He said China has always asked its companies to suits international and native rules and regulations in their overseas operations.

“We hope that the Indian side will work with the Chinese side to take care of hard-won bilateral cooperation and development so on build an open and fair business environment for international investors and services providers including Chinese companies,” Gao was quoted as saying.

The Chinese foreign ministry, meanwhile, said neither country should hurt long-term interests due to short sightedness.

“The Indian side decided to ban some great and popular Chinese apps. Indian user’s rights and interests are firstly harmed. And Chinese business’s rights and interests also will be harmed. So, what India has done isn’t beneficial to anyone,” spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

“As I said both are ancient civilisations with splendid cultures that we are pleased with , and therefore the exchange between the 2 sides are happening for thousands of years.”

Giving the instance of Tagore, Hua said many of his poems are popular in China, then quoted a line from one among his poems: “We read the planet wrong, and say that it deceives us”.

“Also, yoga is becoming more and more popular in China; including myself, i’m very keen on Indian culture. But we don’t think that Indian culture or the poems or other things are infiltrating here or are posing any threat to Chinese culture,” Hua said.

“What we believe is that the intermingling of various cultures is conducive to promoting people’s mutual affection and friendship.”

Hua also let loose a subtle warning about ties between India and therefore the US.

“I have noted that the US state department on an equivalent day said that India banned quite 100 Chinese apps and called on other countries to hitch India to roll out the clean network initiative,” she said.

“So, I don’t know if there’s any correlation or interaction between India and therefore the US. But India is an ancient civilisation with wise people. They should know what the US has wiped out Cyber Security for instance Dirtbox, Prism, Irritant Horn, Muscular and under-sea cable tapping. Indian people must have the wisdom to inform whether the US practice on cyber security is clean or dirty.”

“We hope India could stay committed to its precious independence deciding .”

Experts in China have expectedly criticised New Delhi’s move to ban the apps.

Zhao Gancheng, director of the Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies said while the apps ban will likely have a limited impact on the Indian economy, the “…ill intentions behind the Indian government’s move to fire up tension and even a conflict with China are increasingly reaching a dangerous level”.

“This is dangerous. The worse the Indian economy becomes, the upper the probability that a military conflict might be provoked by New Delhi . This is a really worrisome situation,” Zhao told state media.

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